Is Your Faith Genuine? F.R.O.G

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The next couple weeks we are going to be looking at stories in Acts and we will see the beginning of the Church, and how as Jesus ascended back to the Father, He sent His Spirit to live inside and guide each believer so that the church could and would continue His mission He started, seeing people come and put their faith in Jesus, and walk with Him so that they could be a part of the family of God because we know God’s heart is not for anyone to perish but for all to come to repentance and have right standing with God, to be rescued from sin and death and free to live and walk with God in the abundant life He has promised.
The big idea for the week that we are all talking about is…
Take the first step - Believe in Jesus!
I titled the message this morning, Is your faith genuine? Lets look at a little bit of Acts 1-2 this Morning. Acts 1:1-11, 2:36-41
War Room Movie Clip - “I believe in God just like most people. He is very important to me”
I don’t about you but I have heard this before when asking people about Jesus and Church, but as you can see on the movie clip she said she knew the Lord and that God was important but He wasn’t all that important to them based on the other things she said. Occasionally going to church, rarely praying for her husband, prayer life was Not hot or cold just somewhere in the middle, almost as if she was too busy to pray. There at the end when she asks Mrs Clara if she likes her coffee room temperature Mrs Clara says no mine is hot. The face of I get the point. If you really believe in God as Lord, it would change the way you live. You may say you believe in Jesus all day long, but if your life does not reflect the life of Jesus then you are all words and your faith is dead as James would say.
So is your faith genuine?
Peter in Acts 2 gives this powerful message about Jesus, and people are cut to the heart, people are convicted, and ask the question what do we do, so Peter begins to tell them okay here is what you should do, repent and be baptized? Why doesn’t Peter say believe and you will be saved? Or a question may surface of do I need to be baptized to be saved? The answer is no but we are going to talk about that here in a minute But when it comes to passages referring to and talking about salvation and a relationship with God there seems to be different ways in which someone is invited to take the first step.
Saved By Grace through Faith. (Eph. 2:8-9)(Luke 7:50)
Or confess and believe you are saved (Rom. 10:9)
Sometimes just confess (1John1:9)
Sometimes just believe (John 3:16)
Other times just repent (Matthew 4:17),
Other times repent and believe(Mark 1:15) or
Repent and be Baptized (Acts 2:38)
Even Jesus said follow me (Matthew 16:24).
Maybe you are hearing these things and you’re thinking Justin you are complicating things, why do we need to talk about this? There is a couple of reasons and again my hope is that I won’t complicate things, but that I can with God’s help, help clarify things for you. I want you to know and be confident in your salvation. The bible has some pretty difficult passages that there are people who think they are saved, but when they are face to face with God, He says depart from me I never knew you. SO I want you to be confident in your salvation, and to be confident in conversations that you may have the opportunity to be a witness to people so they can take the first step into a relationship with Jesus.
So Here is the deal all of these different ways that people are called to respond to the good news of Jesus and the invitation to be saved and have a relationship with Him are all valid because they are all pointing to

Genuine Faith in Jesus Christ.

Genuine Faith in Christ encompasses all of these things: Belief & Trust, Confession & Repentance, Following God, and Baptism if/when given the opportunity.
You see this in everyone who genuinely places their faith in the Lord, you see all of this even happening and in this very passage.
Belief & Trust -
GotQuestions says it like this, Hebrews 11:1
“This definition of faith contains two aspects: intellectual assent and trust. Intellectual assent is believing something to be true. Trust is actually relying on the fact that the something is true.”
Genuine Faith has both belief and trust. It is not enough for people to just believe that Jesus was a good teacher and that He died, and rose again. If you look at the scriptures you will see this is true. When the writes wrote things like believe and you will have eternal life or be saved they are implying that you are not just believing in Jesus as a good moral person or who lived a good live, but that you believe He is the Savior of the world that took on your sins and paid the penalty of death for you so you could be rescued, but simply believing he was real is not enough. James 2:19 says,
James 2:19 NLT
You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.
And even in historical facts their were historians and writers who were not believers but wrote about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. They wrote it and believed it to be a true historical event, but their belief was not partnered with trusting their lives to Jesus. Think about it here in this text(Acts 2:38), it could be again I’m not sure, why Peter didn’t say believe but He said repent and be baptized because the majority of the people He was talking too knew about Jesus, they believed he was a real person, they had heard about Him, or even witnessed His life and were possibly even their for His death. Now he stands boldly and professes Jesus rose from the dead and has empowered us with His Spirit so place your faith, belief and trust in Him as the Savior through repentance and baptism. Which leads us to confession and repentance.
Confession & Repentance -
We see both of these in the scriptures. Genuine Faith often times reveals itself through true confession which leads to true repentance. But it is possible You can confess things that are true but there could be no real repentance. Repentance involves confessing our sins and turning from our ways to follow God’s ways. This is true repentance. A lot of people will confess to maybe get out of the situation they were caught in, or confess to look like they are sorry, but then they go right back into the thing they confessed and reveals their was not true change of mind, but they were just trying to look good or get out of trouble so they could just go get into more trouble. The people here where encourage by Peter to repent and act upon that repentance through baptism in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, and those who recieved His word were baptized and about 3000 people turned(Acts 2:41) from their way of life to follow Jesus’ way of life which led to following God.
Following God -
Both of these point(belief &Trust and Confession and Repentance) to following Jesus. IF we really believe and trust who Jesus said He was, He was the Savior, He was God in the flesh then we would in turn do what He says and follow His ways. Literally the people in the next verse(Acts 2:42) starts by saying they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching. What were they teaching? They were teaching the ways of Jesus and even how the OT pointed to Jesus and how we are to follow the Lord. They weren’t just hearing it but they were living it out; they were learning about Jesus and living like Him, they were serving, fellowshipping, helping, there was unity, they depended on God together, they cared and loved one another. They were not doing this in their own strength or will, but because they had genuinely placed their faith in Jesus they recieved the gift of the Holy Spirit and they were walking with the Spirit and not their flesh.
I tell you if there is one thing you can maybe examine your life with to know if you have the Spirit of God or walking in the Spirit, it is if you have the fruit of the Spirit being produced in your life. This isn’t just a one season thing, but that fruit is being produced all year round.
The Holy Spirit - Eph. 1:13-14
Ephesians 1:13–14 NLT
And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.
2 Peter 1:3 ESV
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
Love Jesus and devoted to the way of Jesus.
His word moves you to action because the Holy Spirit is guiding you.
Loving People.
There was so much unity, serving, helping, fellowshipping.
Depending on God.
Prayer and remembering what Jesus had done.
Baptism -
Baptism was a big deal for the early church and the followers of Christ and it accompanied or came along with genuine faith. In fact if there was an opportunity it was almost an immediate response for someone who had genuinely placed their faith in Christ because it was the outward expression of their inward faith in Christ, it also meant for identifying with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and the new life He had given them. It wasn’t taken lightly, but it was also clear that the act of baptism was not what saved. Peter who says repent and be baptized here also wrote in his letter to Christians later on said.
1 Peter 3:21 (ESV)
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Peter confirms it is not baptism that removes our sin, that was accomplished by the blood of Jesus when we placed our faith in Him. We also see another example in the thief on the cross who was not baptized but went to be with Jesus in paradise.
Baptism does not save but it is an action with great significance that identifies you as someone who has genuinely repented and is following Jesus.
Peter also latter wrote in His letter to believers 2 Peter 1:10
2 Peter 1:10–11 ESV
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Peter wrote to christians who where being persecuted and some dying, said confirm your calling and election, confirm your salvation, look and see if your faith is genuine. That you are not just going through the motions and doing things just to do them, but that it is evident that you have been saved by Jesus and are living like Him.
Examine your heart today follower of Christ.
Rejoice in what Jesus has done for you don’t ever forget it!
Those who maybe in the room who have not placed their faith in Jesus. Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Malachi 3
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